Freitag, 20. Januar 2012

Ariel Parallel

When I was 8 years old, I was in love with the Little Mermaid. My two best friends had VCRs (we did not) and we watched it nearly every day.
After age 9, however, the first time I saw the film again was in San Francisco last summer. It was on the big screen, in the Castro, round the corner from a bunch of naked men protesting new nudity laws and other tourists in town for Leather fest. We were in the company of young girls in costumes. Everyone had a swag, replete with anything a mermaid fan could want: a clicker to make Sebastian sounds, a dinglehopper for a fun hair-doo, a necklace, a crown, bubbles.....
While watching the film I was transported to all of those feelings I'd had as a child while watching it. When the film concluded, I remembered my confusion at Tritan's sadness. He's worried about "how much I'm going to miss her." As a girl I thought, "but she can always come visit!" Sure, they'd need to hang around near the surface, or she'd need an air tank, but she can still swim around to see her family. As a 30 year old who was living and continues to live 3,000 miles from my family, I experienced the film differently.
Returning to Switzerland left Ivo as wobbly as the newly-legged Ariel. Now that we've settled in we're enjoying all of the beauty of being part of this world. Ivo's been getting career cousnseling of sorts and exploring his options and getting the encouragement that he needs to weather the doctoral storm. We've both been jumping into every work opportunity and have become expert at accepting every social invitation and generally maximizing our here-ness. I'm taking the advice of not giving in to the instinct to tread water and prepare my parenting self and living life childless, knowing that parenthood will come when it comes, but we need to be us until then. That said, we're also shutting out the notion that we may relocate in the next few years, if only temporarily, if Academic oppotunity knocks.
So we dived in and the water's fine, walking around on those - what's that word again - streeeets of Zürich

Sonntag, 8. Januar 2012

unreasonable concerns

For my second operation, I was to get a bumper of anesthesia through an epidural. The surgery was meant to take 6 hours or more and the spinal entry would keep everything calm. My anesthesiologist was a terribly sweet and friendly man, which is good for a pediatric anesthesiologist.
He told me to give his nurse a big hug, which I did. He'd already given me something to make me relaxed (and loopy) and I said that his nurse was very fun to hug because she was big and squishy. I'd never have said this had I not been given drugs. I also would not have likely told the doc that he had a large nose if I were sober.

10 hours later, I woke very suddenly, in a lot of pain and with a wet back. My epidural had slid out in recovery. A resident put it back in, but it slid out again and I was given a morphine pump. I understand that the epidural sliding out likely has nothing to do with having offended my caretakers. Nevertheless, I'm reminded of this incident in anticipation of my treatment on Tuesday.
When I met the doctor who will be applying my treatment, I was introduced as an American who speaks "Mundart." The fact that I speak swiss-german was cheerily delivered to this German doctor by his cheery assistant Dr.
"She's only lived here 4 years!" He said, grinning. "Perhaps we should all speak in dialect." He added.
The German Dr. groaned and said "keine Chance."
I'm now thinking about this second-hand chiding and hoping that it doesn't effect my care on Tuesday. I'm hoping alot, in fact. I find myself stupidly or sweetly imagining that something might come of our plan this week and that my health may be taking a new, super cool turn.
Who knows. All I know is that I will be as sweet and polite to everybody at the University Hospital . . . just in case.